Italy should be in for an almighty backlash from a Springbok side determined to make amends for last week's poor performance in Witbank.
The dour win against the bottom team in the Six Nations championship was a wake-up call for South Africa's coaches and players alike a week after they had crushed Grand Slam champions France in Cape Town.
South Africa have won all three of their games so far this season but face an Italy team boosted by a promising outing in the first Test, where they recorded their best result against the Boks (losing by sixteen points) and outscored the world champions 10-7 in the second half.
Credit to the Italians, who never gave up, but their hosts showed there was something missing in a display where the Springboks were in control at the front but didn't capitalise on their possession and go-forward ball.
Scrum-half Ricky Januarie on a number of occasions struggled to get the ball away quickly and the solid defence of Italy against a Bok midfield playing out of position did not make for a spectacular or convincing display behind the pack.
Basic errors and a lack of cohesion - probably to be expected as the Springbok team showed six changes in the search for the best combinations for the World Cup next year - were the main reasons for an average performance.
However after the high-intensity performance against France the previous week and the come-from-behind effort in Cardiff the week before that, the Springboks were probably due the step backwards they took against Italy in Witbank.
Often when stronger sides face weaker opposition, matches unravel into messy affairs, so for the home side, keeping it neat and tidy and executing correctly will be key just a few weeks out from this year's bigger challenges.
Speaking of which, Saturday's second Test between South Africa and Italy is also the last opportunity for Springbok coach Peter de Villiers to see the players in action before he picks his 26 players for the Tri-Nations tour to Australasia.
This week, De Villiers has selected arguably his strongest possible line-up, barring a resting Victor Matfield, and the Boks will be using this as a dress rehearsal for the All Blacks Test in Auckland in two weeks' time.
Captain John Smit - who will be making his 96th Test appearance - returns to the side which sees seven changes after missing the first Test win because of a hamstring strain, while stand-in skipper Matfield is replaced by tall, mobile Andries Bekker, back from injury.
Fellow lock Danie Rossouw, one of the outstanding players in South African rugby this year, has been ruled out. He was due to be on the bench but withdrew because of a hip injury. Former IRB Player of the Year Schalk Burger returns at flank after withdrawing from the first Test team because he had not fully recovered from an ankle injury.
In all, there are an astonishing 545 caps in the run-on XV - 36.3 per man.
The Springboks look set once again to dominate the line-outs, where Bekker's height and skill make up for the absence of Matfield, while the loose trio will be stronger for the return of Burger.
In the back-line, centres Jaque Fourie and Juan de Jongh are likely to provide a better attacking springboard than the combination of Jean de Villiers and Butch James last week - the latter failing miserably.
Itally coach Nick Mallett praised a superb performance by his players last weekend against what he described as the best team in the world but he has surprisingly made even more changes than De Villiers, with nine new players coming into the starting line-up.
Six of the changes are among the forwards, although at least one was enforced following an injury to leading prop Martin Castrogiovanni, who had to leave the field just 18 minutes into the first Test.
Italy will likely play like they did in the first match, when they relied on a physical group of forwards led by number eight and captain Sergio Parisse and forced South Africa into mistakes with a strong defence and clever tactical kicking
The match at the Buffalo City Stadium will be only South Africa's third Test in East London as the team continues its tour of smaller venues while the football World Cup dominates the country's main stadiums.
It will be the Boks' first Test in the coastal city since they faced Uruguay there in 2005. Before that, they played Canada in 2000 - ironically with the current Italian coach Mallett at the helm of the men in green and gold.
Ones to watch:
For South Africa: The full-back position seems to be the one place South Africa have a problem at filling, following Peter de Villiers' decision to ignore the many talents of Francois Steyn. Zane Kirchner has been given a few chances and produced mixed performances... now it's Gio Aplon's turn. The Springbok rookie ignited the Stormers back-line from the back in this year's Super 14 - De Villiers and co. will be hoping he does the same in green and gold.
For Italy: With Martin Castrogiovanni out of the picture, all eyes will once again turn to captain Sergio Parisse who holds this Italian team together like glue.
Head to head: Front row Italy will again try to match the Springboks in the scrums, although they struggled in the first Test even before Castrogiovanni's injury. The Italians weren't expected to come out second best at the set piece in Witbank, and blamed Jannie du Plessis for an illegal scrumming technique. Before Witbank, the Boks had something to prove, but now it's the proud visitors who want to restore their scrum to its former reputation.
2009: South Africa won 32-10 in Florence
2008: South Africa won 26-0 in Newlands, Cape Town
2001: South Africa won 54-26 in Genoa
2001: South Africa won 60-14 in Boet Erasmus, Port Elizabeth
1999: South Africa won 101-0 in King's Park Stadium, Durban
1999: South Africa won 74-3 in Boet Erasmus, Port Elizabeth
1997: South Africa won 62-31 in Bologna
1995: South Africa won 40-21 in Olympic Stadium, Rome
Prediction: A hiding seems on the cards for the Azzurri. South Africa to win big... by 30 points.
South Africa: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Jean de Villiers, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 MornÚ Steyn, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 John Smit (c), 1 Gurthr÷ Steenkamp.
Replacements: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 BJ Botha, 18 Flip van der Merwe, 19 Dewald Potgieter, 20 Ruan Pienaar, 21 Butch James, 22 Wynand Oliver.
Italy: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Michele Sepe, 13 Gonzalo Canale, 12 Andrea Masi, 11 Mirco Bergamasco, 10 Craig Gower, 9 Simon Picone, 8 Sergio Parisse (c), 7 Manoa Vosawai, 6 Paul Derbyshire, 5 Marco Bortolami, 4 Carlo Antonio Del Fava, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Fabio Ongaro, 1 Salvatore Perugini.
Replacements: 16 Leonardo Ghiraldini, 17 Franco Sbaraglini, 18 Quintin Geldenhuys, 19 Alessandro Zanni, 20 Tito Tebaldi, 21 Riccardo Bocchino, 22 Matteo Pratichetti.
Date: Saturday, June 26
Kick-off: 14:00 (12:00 GMT)
Venue: Buffalo City Stadium, East London
Weather forecast: High of 21░C, with 20 per cent chance of rain.
Referee: Keith Brown (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Andrew Small (England), Andy Macpherson (Scotland)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)
By Dave Morris